Daughter of McGurk’s victim calls on peer to apologize for remarks

Posted By: October 10, 2017

Brendan Hughes. Irish News. Belfast. Tuesday, October 10, 2017

THE daughter of a woman killed in the McGurk’s Bar atrocity has called on former Unionist minister John Taylor to apologize for declaring the UVF attack an IRA ‘own goal’.

Pat Irvine, whose mother Kathleen was among 15 people who died in the 1971 bombing, was involved in a lengthy exchange on Twitter with the former Ulster Unionist deputy leader.

Mr. Taylor, now cross-bench peer Lord Kilclooney, said after the attack that it was an IRA bomb that exploded prematurely inside the north Belfast bar.

It was later confirmed to be a loyalist attack and relatives have been engaged in a long campaign to clear the names of the victims and set the record set straight.

Lord Kilclooney was a junior minister in the ministry of home affairs under the old Stormont regime at the time of the bombing.

He wrote on Twitter: “I have already made it clear as minister, substituting for the home affairs minister, I was advised by the Secretariat what to say.”

While Ms. Irvine did not accuse Lord Kilclooney of lying she insisted that an apology should be offered to the victims and their families.

However, the peer replied: “I have not told lies and have therefore no reason to apologize. I acted in good faith.”

Ms. Irvine said, “the evidence is now in public domain.”

Lord Kilclooney responded: “You do yourself a disservice by politicizing the subject and lose sympathy.”

Ms. Irvine asked him to meet families of the victims, but he refused.

Lord Kilclooney recently also faced criticism for remarks on Twitter in which he claimed Unionists and Nationalists are not political equals.